JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Interpreting coagulation mixing study results in the era of direct oral anticoagulants.

Interpretation of coagulation mixing studies is complicated by interference arising from direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs), which are increasingly prescribed. In this retrospective study, we reviewed 1035 consecutive coagulation mixing studies performed from 2017 to 2021. Three hundred and ninety-nine cases with normal prothrombin time (PT) and activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) were excluded. aPTT mixing studies were performed at time 0 and after 60 min of incubation. We confirmed the presence of interfering factors with additional laboratory testing, medication records, and medical history. Mixing corrected most prolonged PT samples (93%), but 32 cases showed incomplete correction. Of these 32 cases, 18 were confounded by DOAC use, and 3 by factor V (FV) inhibitor. We observed an unusual pattern of prolongation of aPTT after incubation, which was previously considered a characteristic of specific factor inhibitors, most commonly FVIII inhibitor. However, we found that lupus anticoagulant (28%) and DOAC (25%) contributed to this pattern similarly as specific factor inhibitors (28%). Coagulation laboratories should be aware of interference arising from DOACs and other factors in PT/aPTT mixing studies, especially in some unusual correction patterns.

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